Getty's Supermarket

Grocery Store Throws Away $35,000 Of Food Woman May Have Deliberately Coughed On

The horrible story of one woman's costly prank involving deliberately coughing on fresh food produce has been sweeping the internet and incensing people across the web.

Many stores continue to face the pressures of panic buying.

Facebook | Gerrity's Supermarket

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to instil fear in members of the public, the news has been awash with stories of people panic buying and hoarding items at this time.

Despite measures put in place to try and limit people's purchases and minimize panic buying, this has not put an end to the pressures that grocery shops face.

One shop in Pennsylvania recently faced a uniquely challenging situation.

Facebook | Gerrity's Supermarket

Earlier this week, Gerrity's Supermarket, located in Luzerne County, became the victim of a supposed prank that cost the store, and fellow local shoppers, dearly.

The supermarket's co-owner Joe Fasula took to the store's Facebook page to share the tragic details.

A local woman had entered the shop and proceeded to deliberately cough all over the store's products.

Facebook | Gerrity's Supermarket

The woman responsible had entered the store around 2:00pm and proceeded, "to purposely cough on our fresh produce, and a small section of our bakery, meat case, and grocery," Mr. Fasula said.

Mr. Fasula described the day as "a very challenging day," on Facebook.

The woman was apparently already known to local police.

Facebook | Gerrity's Supermarket

Mr. Fasula went on to say that the in-store manager explained to him over the phone that the woman who perpetrated the act was someone "who the police know to be a chronic problem in the community".

It is strongly suspected that the woman's actions were part of a sick coronavirus-related prank.

Mr. Fasula said the store are in "little doubt" that the act was "a very twisted prank".

Facebook | Gerrity's Supermarket

However, despite the fact that they were largely certain that the woman was playing a hideous prank, the store had an obligation to put the safety of its customers and staff first in light of the current situation. Mr. Fasula wrote:

"[We] will not take any chances with the health and well-being of our customers. We had no choice but to throw out all of the products she came in contact with. Working closely with the Hanover Township health inspector, we identified every area that she was in, we disposed of the product and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected everything."

The value of the discarded produce has been estimated to be over $35, 000!

Facebook | Gerrity's Supermarket

"Although we have not yet quantified the total loss," the Facebook post continued, "we estimate the value to be well over $35,000. We are checking to see if our insurance company will cover it, but even if they do, our rates will surely go up next year. I am also absolutely sick to my stomach about the loss of food."

Mr. Fasula also lamented that the loss of food at a time when people are so scared of supply amounts was particularly tragic.

The co-owner thanked all of the staff for their tireless work disinfecting the store and getting it restocked.

Facebook | Gerrity's Supermarket

Mr. Fasula posted an update writing, "Our produce department was fully stocked by 2 PM today (Thursday). Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to get everything back to normal."

He also informed people that the woman's case has been escalated to the District Attorney’s Office, and that, the police "assured me that they will be aggressively pursuing numerous charges".

The woman will also be tested, along with everyone who they think may have been in contact with her.

The public have been sharing an outpouring of support for the store's workers.

Facebook | Gerrity's Supermarket

Concerned citizens took to the comments of the Facebook post to thank the supermarket for their precautions and for looking out for the public:

"So sorry that your business and staff had to deal with this, on top of everything else that’s currently happening. You handled this very well! Thank you for ensuring the safety of your employees and patrons. I hope the officials make sure she is reprimanded to the fullest extent, this is no laughing matter."

"Thank you to all employees involved for their quick response to make sure things were properly taken care of. There is absolutely no excuse for the disgusting behavior of that person and I hope she is prosecuted to the fullest extent. I again, am so very sorry."

"This is a tragedy please prosecute her to the fullest extent of the law ...many people are hungry and you are all working so very hard ..God bless all of your stores and support system".

Hopefully, this sort of thing will not happen again!

Facebook | Gerrity's Supermarket

This is a time where people need to be looking out for one another and not engaging in such selfish and morally repugnant "pranks".

The way that Gerrity's staff handled the delicate situation was also to be commended; hopefully, this woman will face appropriate charges for this dangerous and costly behavior.

h/t: Daily Mail